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Still rocking grandfathered unlimited data through Verizon Wireless? Better enjoy it while it lasts, because the carrier plans to drive a stake through its heart when Big Red makes the switch to family data plans this summer. Should make good fodder for Sprint’s future marketing, since they continue to be the only U.S. carrier offering truly unlimited data plans. Meanwhile, here’s the rest of what’s making news for this Wednesday, May 16, 2012.
Fierce Wireless is reporting that grandfathered unlimited data plans may soon go the way of the dinosaur, at least if Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo has anything to say about it (and sadly, he does). Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference this week, Shammo explained that as its 3G data customers migrate to 4G LTE, Verizon will require data sharing plans that will not be compatible with the faster speeds, nor sharing between multiple devices. The move is part of the carrier’s plan to shift to a “revenue per account” metric, rather than the current model which measures individual users’ data usage. With shared data plans in the works for mid-summer, there’s likely to be a lot of unhappy veteran users longing for the unlimited data days…
Cnet is reporting that the Retina Display screens everyone assumes will soon find their way to the MacBook line could be a pricy endeavor for Apple -- almost $100 more, judging from component costs of 15.4-inch display panels already in the supply chain. The real question becomes, will Apple eat those costs or pass them on to Mac users in the form of increased prices? "What's clear is that Apple's pushing it. They're pushing panel makers to come out with higher resolution panels because they've created a market demand for it, starting with their phones, now going to their tablets," explains NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Shim. "Now what we're seeing in the supply chain is that they're going to move that to their notebooks, and it's becoming a premium feature." Apple currently spends $68 for the display panel of a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but that figure is estimated to balloon to $160 if and when the rumored Retina upgrade arrives. Would you be willing to fork over the extra dough, if push comes to shove…?
AllThingsD is reporting that Sprint will likely continue to bleed red ink where the iPhone is concerned for three more years. That’s because the carrier made a whopping $15.5 billion commitment to Apple’s iconic handset over a four-year period -- meaning the company won’t make a profit from the iPhone until 2015. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse doesn’t seem too concerned, despite having to take a $3.25 million pay cut this month to appease investors unhappy with the deal. “We believe in the long term,” Hesse explains. “And over time we will make more money on iPhone customers than we will on other customers.” Assuming, of course, the third-place carrier can make it that long.
If you’ve ever wondered just how fragile the stock market can be, look no further than a new DigiTimes rumor claiming that Apple recently placed a huge order for DRAM chips with Japanese firm Elpida -- and dealt a fatal blow to Samsung’s market value in the process. According to Reuters, the rumor -- whether it’s true or not -- sent shares of Samsung Electronics Co. down more than six percent on Wednesday, “wiping $10 billion off the electronics giant’s market value” all at once. "It looks like Apple doesn't want to see Samsung and hynix dominate the chip market,” remarks Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities. “Apple wants to maintain its bargaining power by keeping Elpida running.” Japan’s Elpida is currently running under bankruptcy protection as it attempts to restructure due to “tough market conditions and global competition.” Perhaps Apple just wants to level the playing field after watching Samsung continually ape its smartphone and tablet products?
Did you know May is Teacher Appreciation Month? Makes sense, since this is the last month most students are in school before the summer vacation -- and their minds are probably on anything but studying. To celebrate the occasion, the folks at iStoryTime are offering their Kung Fu Panda 2 storybook app absolutely free through Sunday, April 20. Kung Fu Panda 2 is perfect for engaging children’s creativity and encouraging them to read in a variety of languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, German, French, Portuguese, Russian and Korean, so teachers and students across the globe may enjoy the adventures of Po. “Teachers are our super heroes,” said Woody Sears, founder of iStoryTime. “They are the foundation of our children’s education and we are extremely humble in honoring teachers worldwide by offering our Kung Fu Panda 2 storybook for free.” Hey, we just like the sound of free apps, but kudos to iStoryTime for recognizing the heroes, too.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter